METCALF MOVING BLOG
5 Tips for Helping Your Kids Settle into Your New Home
Moving is difficult for adults—there’s a lot to navigate, organize, and prepare. Then there are checklists, the time spent gathering supplies, and the packing up of your entire life before starting anew.
But for kids, the challenge is more significant. Adults, at least, have something to focus on, something tangible to help them through the process. Kids, who typically rely on predictability and security, are confused, disoriented, and often left out of the loop.
The act of moving can be especially jarring for children, affecting their school and home lives. That’s why helping your kids through the transition is vital for their comfort. You’ve got to make them feel included and seen, heard, and loved.
The following tips will help make the process a smoother one.
1. Keep Their Favorite Items Close By
Nothing feels like the comfort of home than your kid’s favorite book, game-playing device, pillow, or stuffed animal.
Keep all their essentials in one easily-accessible bag, box, or backpack. Allow them to put all their favorite things in it and keep it close by during the trip.
When you arrive at the new place, unpack it right away. Tell your kids they can begin decorating and placing their go-to items around their new bedrooms. This also makes unpacking fun and less like a chore.
2. Explore Your New Neighborhood Together
Take a walk around your new block, introduce yourself to neighbors, or visit the local parks.
Ask your child where they’d like to go and what they’d like to see, then follow up on that. Act as if you’re brand-new explorers of the town, and they’ll love knowing you’re their partner in adventure.
3. Talk to Them and Ask Questions
Perhaps the most straight forward but most inviting thing you can do is talk to your child.
Ask them what, if anything, is bothering them, whether that’s the move to a new school, missing their best friend—whatever is ailing them. Having a concrete answer to this question allows you to take proactive steps in making them feel more comfortable and adjusted.
4. Keep the Routine Moving
We mentioned that kids love stability and security. With this idea in mind, begin returning to your routine as quickly as possible.
Whether that’s having a set bedtime or get-up time, a morning routine before school, or a favorite weekend activity, keep things as “normal” as possible. Before you (or they) know it, they’ll have readjusted to this familiar way of life.
5. Check out Moving-Themed Kids’ Books
When all else fails, enlist the help of authors.
There are several books dedicated to the topic of moving, all designed to confront universal emotions that kids face. Some great options include:
- Moving House by Anne Civardi, which is great for toddlers: Offers a positive perspective on moving
- I Like Where I Am by Jessica Harper, for kids up to second grade: Confronts feeling of sadness when leaving a place you love
- Moving Day by Ralph Fletcher, appropriate for kids up to grade six: A story about a move across state lines
Helping Your Kids, Made Easy
As a parent, you likely know what your child needs. Perhaps they want to be more involved, or maybe they’d rather just go with the flow.
Helping your kids doesn’t have to be challenging. Simply follow the above tips, go with your loving parental gut, and adjust your tactics when necessary.
Click here for help navigating a mid-school move, or check out our list of resources for making your transition as straightforward as possible. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns!